It always amazes me how fast this things come up. Doesn’t feel like all that long ago I was writing up a preview for the winter season. Time forever remains my eternal enemy as I never seem to have enough of it. It certainly would be great to have a hyperbolic time chamber or borrow Homura’s shield so I can get through my Steam backlog. Sure I may age prematurely three or four years but I can’t say it wouldn’t be worth it.
The winter season looking back was quite great, possible the best I have seen in a long time. So naturally the Spring Season is looking inferior in comparison. I admit I don’t have much here I am really passionate about. There is potential in a couple of shows here and a few sequels I say people are looking forward to. One of those sequels not being Berserk’s next season because I am certain Berserk fans are already crying tears of blood and rage at the further bastardization of the franchise. Of course we won’t really know what we got till we get it but let’s see if I make deciding what to watch a little easier for you.
As usual I have looked up every source I can find, be it Manga, Light novel or Game and checked the staff for each show to get a better idea for what we are in for. The poll below will be used to see what you most want to see blogged with the top spot pretty much guaranteed to be covered.
Once again thanks to Mario for gathering the images, writing with a few previews and helping with the layout. You save me quite a lot of tedium. Thanks to Helghast as well as acting as editor for this piece.
The sequels/prequels I don’t care about
Boku no Hero Academia 2
Kyoukai no RINNE 3
Idol Time PriPara
Natsume Yuujinchou Roku
Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata 2
Star Mu 2
Shingeki no Bahamut: VIRGIN SOUL
Warau Salesman NEW
Series I don’t look forward to
Director: Tsuyoshi Nagasawa
Script/Series composer: Kenji Sugihara
Source: Light Novel
Naoto’s a high school dropout and brilliant amateur tinkerer. He lives in a world that has been so over-exploited that the entire surface has become one vast machine. When a box crashes into his home containing a female automaton, it’s a harbinger of change that will rock the entire globe, and give Naoto his chance to be a hero.
This is one of the things I dislike about Light novels. They can have excellent ideas which are ultimately hampered because the writer just doesn’t have the talent or is pushed to make them into a typical light novel formula. In this case I find the world and basic premise to be quite interesting. Namely a planet filled with clockwork gears which no one understands how it functions anymore and the protagonists acting as terrorists fighting against a corrupt society. But it just has a lot of the tropes that hamper a lot of light novel adaptions like harems, fanservice, shoved in school settings…first arc may have some thinking it’s different but it falls in line with typical fair after that. As far as the old bargain bin light novel adaptions goes, this is one of the better ones. Though with Xebec at the helm the fanservice is likely going to get a boost. It’s bad enough that the main lead female character’s name is Rueez Yourslave. Yes, Your Slave. You stay classy Japan. Animation in the trailer looks a bit cheap as well so I say keep your expectations low and you might enjoy this.
Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria
Director: Youhei Suzuki
Script/Series composer: Hideki Shirane
Source: Light Novel
Sword princess Aiz Wallenstein. Today, once again, the strongest female swordsman heads to the giant labyrinth known as the “Dungeon” along with her allies. On the 50th floor where mysteries and threats such as a decayed dragon’s corpse that crumbles to ash and an irregularity that creeps ever closer to the party loom, Aiz calls for the wind and heads deeper into the darkness of the Dungeon. Eventually, she finds herself meeting a boy for the first time. “Um, are you OK?” In the Labyrinth City of Orario, the contrasting stories of the boy and the girl intersect!
Sigh…you know we give Sword Art Online so much hate for this but maybe part of the blame lies in the fans having more pocket change than us. Because someone is buying blu-rays of this crap, otherwise it wouldn’t keep getting made. Anyway this series is to the main series what A certain Scientific Railgun is to the Certain Magical index series. A spinoff which seems to focus on one of the protags haremettes and the adventures they had outside of his sight. In fact it does bare a number of similarities to Railgun, even down to the overbearing lesbian. I don’t have any real investment in this series so my perception of this story is already coloured but I really don’t find these character interesting. The main Heroine is just dull and one dimensional with her teammates being annoyingly chipper. We got fanservice and fighting but all and all it feels rather dull. If anything it seems we have moved from Harem with done to death LN story to Cute girls doing cute things with done to death LN story. If you are a fan of the original series then you are bound to enjoy this but otherwise I don’t think it will convert newcomers.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Ryouhei Takeshita
Script/Series composer: Tatsuya Takahashi
Source: Light Novel
The “new sibling romantic comedy” revolves around Masamune Izumi, a light novel author in high school. Masamune’s little sister is Sagiri, a shut-in girl who hasn’t left her room for an entire year. She even forces her brother to make and bring her meals when she stomps the floor. Masamune wants his sister to leave her room, because the two of them are each other’s only family.
Masamune’s novel illustrator, pen name “Eromanga,” draws extremely perverted drawings, and is very reliable. Masamune had never met his illustrator, and figured he was just a disgusting, perverted otaku. However, the truth is revealed… that his “Eromanga-sensei” is his own younger sister! To add to the chaos that erupts between the siblings, a beautiful, female, best-selling shoujo manga creator becomes their rival!
Oh no. Not this guy again. Well ladies and gents, let us welcome back the writer of Oreimo aka, my little Sister can’t be this cute, AKA the cancer that spawned the incest fad that made it that we couldn’t have a single season without a show about brothers and sisters wanting to bone. Well this story is essentially Oreimo again with extra lolitas. Really that is this to the core, don‘t expect any real insight into light novel creation because anything related to that is superficial at best. We have an estranged brother and sister who happen to reconnect when the brother discovers his sister’s secret hobby. This time the author made sure to make them non-blood related because that’s…important…I guess. The story has a high level of contrivance, namely the brother is a published light novel author who can write several novels in a week(As someone who writes regularly and someone who has wrote a novel, LIKE HELL THAT’S POSSIBLE) whose sister just so happens to be his light novel illustrator and the brothers rival writer coincidentally moves in next door and also happens to be a little girl. The little sister is better than Kirino from what I have seen but is still a self entitled brat who wants to play doctor with her brother, brother is a bland self insert and it looks like a harem is gathering around. If you liked Oreimo perhaps this will appeal to you but I just hope it doesn’t bring a second coming of that damn incest fad.
FRAME ARMS GIRL
Director: Keiichirou Kawaguchi
Script/Series composer: Hitomi Mieno
Source: Other (Model Kit Line)
The anime’s story begins when Ao opens a package that arrives at her doorstep. Inside the package is Gourai, a Frame Arms Girl: a small robot capable of independent movement. Gourai is a newly-developed prototype: a Frame Arms Girl equipped with an “Artificial Self,” an advanced AI that gives her a personality. Ao is the only one that has activated her. Gourai begins to gather both battle data and emotions, starting a day-to-day life with Ao, who knows nothing about Frame Arms Girls.
Only source I had to go on was a manga which seems to be acting as a prequel story and if that is representative of the main product then this sounds like it’s chasing the popularity of Kantai collection. Cute girls being cute mix with some action. The premise overall just sounds like Angelic Layer The director’s previous efforts are pretty lackluster with one of his most recent works being the Phantasy Star Online 2 anime. Series composer is working on two shows this season with Fukumenkei Noise being the other one. We got both good and bad with her as she did work on Flying Witch but also worked on Hatsukoi Monster. Based on the staff and source I would guess this series is going to be less focused on action and more on the various Frame Arms girls interacting with each other. More slice of life hijinks than robot fighting girl action.
Studio: Brains Base
Director: Hideya Takahashi
Script/Series composer: Hitomi Mieno
Nino, a girl who likes to sing, experienced two farewells in the past. First, with her first love, Momo, and second, with Yuzu, a boy who composes music. But upon those two farewells, she made a promise with each of them: to continue singing until they find her voice again. Time has passed, and now these three are in high school…?!
This is another one of those show I can’t really judge due to my own personal bias. It’s the type of shoujo story that I just lose all interest in immediately. The main character has that annoying shoujo heroine mindset of being socially awkward but somehow endearing to the male cast who consist of guys with possessive issues. Music may be featured but like Nana, it’s hardly the focus. Romance is more at the forefront here and I just didn’t find it that interesting. Again, this is exactly the type of show that goes against my personal tastes so take this opinion with a grain of salt.
GRANBLUE FANTASY The Animation
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Director: Ayako Kurata
Script/Series composer: Unknown
Video game developer Cygames announced during the Tokyo Game Show event on Thursday that its Granblue Fantasy smartphone game will receive an anime adaptation.
Seeing as I wrote a preview on this last season only to have it delayed to this season, I will paste it again here. I have seen this title pop up in a number of places and from the looks of things it’s a smartphone game with bejeweled gameplay combined with Kantai Collection. As a veteran gamer I have a certain deprecating attitude towards mobile gaming. There are certainly exceptions but the majority of mobile games tend to be time wasters and nothing more. A lot of it is geared towards skinner box tactics to push for microtransactions and I doubt that this title is any different. In general while video game adaptations fair better than card game adaptations, it still is a rarity to find a worthwhile title. Games with not much of a story and a large cast of characters really also don’t translate well to anime seeing as they need to pay service to fans while forming a coherent story.
Gin no Guardian
Director: Ken Andou
Script/Series composer: Yuuji Hosono
Source: Web Comic
Sui Gin may be poor, but he is one of the best online video game players. This identity however, is unknown to all except for RikuLei, Sui Gin’s classmate. She delivers a mysterious mobile device to Sui Gin but before being able to explain herself, RikuLei is kidnapped and Sui Gin unwittingly finds himself wrapped up in series of problematic circumstances. Searching for a way to save her, he accidentally activates the device allowing him to dive into a new Virtual game-world.
Our Chinese animation studio friends who made Spritpact, Hitori no Shita and Bloodvories are back. By all means keep trying guys but forgive me for having low expectations. Staff is pretty much newbies with the writers only previous work being an anime called Kiddy Grade and a magical girl show that I remembered watching called Uta Kana. I believe Uta was one of those pre-madoka magical girl anime that tried to pull a dark twist. Though it wasn’t all that interesting. I can’t help but sigh a bit when reading that description as the inspiration seems rather obvious but seeing as I couldn’t find a translation of the web comic I am afraid I can’t give much insight into the title. Perhaps it could surprise and I certainly would like for this studio to succeed but odds are this isn’t going to be the one to take them out of the shadows.
Director: Tooru Kitahata & Takeo Takahashi
Script/Series composer: Tatsuhiko Urahata
Source: 4-Koma Manga
Hinako is poor at speaking and lives in a rural part of Japan. She wants to improve her speech to be able to talk to people freely, so in high school, she transfers schools to Tokyo and plans to join a theater club. When she arrives, it turns out her boarding house is a secondhand bookstore, and a girl who eats books lives there.
Hinako is a shy little girl whom animals are instinctively drawn to. Because of this, Hinako works as a scarecrow to keep said animals away from the crops in her neighbors fields. Thus the tale of the scarecrow girl begins!
Mario: Essentially a cute girls doing cute thing show, this time the cute girl… well, doesn’t talk very well so expect her to be babblingggg all the times. One thing I did notice while looking at the trailers of those kinds of cute girls shows is their worlds are devoid of any male characters, like the entire male race doesn’t exist at all (we males constitute 50% of the world population just so you know). More hijinks of stereotype girls of course and so far based on the trailers all the casts are as loud as annoying as you would expect. On the positive notes though, the art and animation looks a lot neater than I expected and the director has some serious good anime in his resume (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (okay, not that good), Spice and Wolf both seasons, Rokka no Yuusha); although most of them are fantasy fares so I wonder how he able to deal with this one. Passione doesn’t have much works in its resume, only previous done Rokka, Haitai Nanafa and Rail Wars which were mild but weren’t terrible either. Although looking that it’s adapted from a 4-koma manga I have my doubts that it might turn out to be a short series one.
Studio: Studio Deen
Director: Kazuhiro Yoneda
Script/Series composer: Yoshiko Nakamura
Source: Light Novel
The series revolves around Kurogo Kurusu, a high school student who loves kabuki so much that it’s annoying. Kurogo yearns to perform kabuki as part of a club at his school, but currently his school doesn’t have a kabuki club. So Kurogo sets out to create a kabuki club, and his first order of business is to gather members.
Couldn’t get any translation of the source material for this one but it does seem to be the normal pattern of Studio Deen making a more female orientated show after going all out for something. In this case they just went all in for Rakugo and Konosuba so a regular Otome show is pretty much here to recoup some cash. I could be wrong and maybe this is a different kind of show than I think, however the trailer and promotional material say otherwise. Director only directed two other shows before this, those being Akatsuki no Yona and Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara. The series composer seems to reinforce my belief that this something for Deen to make some safe cash on as she has Super Lovers and Shounen maid as previous work. Though she also worked on Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. I don’t have much hope for this one, the art of Kabuki is interesting but the all male lineup makes me think that learning about Kabuki will be secondary in this case.
Kekkai Sensen & BEYOND
Studio: Studio Bones
Director: Shigehito Takayanagi
Script/Series composer: Yasuko Kamo
Second season of Kekkai Sensen.
I can’t say I cared too much about Kekkai Sensen(Or Blood Blockade Battlefront) season 1. My general feelings were that it was visually interesting but the story felt inconsequential and inconclusive. Perhaps it was the episodic narrative that turned me off it. I don’t deny that the characters and the setting are interesting. There were moments in the first season I found entertaining such as the chess match. I know those who enjoyed the first season are bound to be watching this one and reading the manga wouldn’t really give an accurate measure of what this show is like as the show has pretty much gone anime original. So this isn’t my kind of show but if it’s yours then by all means watch away.
Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?
Director: Junichi Wada
Script/Series composer: Akira Kareno
Source: Light Novel
Five hundred years have passed since the humans went extinct at the hands of the fearsome and mysterious ‘Beasts’. The surviving races now make their homes up on floating islands in the sky, out of reach of all but the most mobile of Beasts.
Only a small group of young girls, the Leprechauns, can wield the ancient weapons needed to fend off invasions from these creatures. Into the girls’ unstable and fleeting lives, where a call to certain death could come at any moment, enters an unlikely character: a young man who lost everything in his final battle five hundred years ago, the last living human awakened from a long, icy slumber.
Unable to fight any longer, Willem becomes the father that the girls never had, caring for and nurturing them even as he struggles to come to terms with his new life, in which he feels the pain of helplessly waiting for his loved ones to return home from battle that his ‘Daughter’ once felt for him so long ago. Together, Willem and the girls gradually come to understand what family means and what is truly worth protecting.
That synopsis certainly sounds exciting doesn’t it? End of the world, child soldiers, an aged veteran…so why oh why is it so dreadfully boring? I read a translation of the light novel for this one and I found myself skimming text before long because my interest had petered out. Watch in excitement as our protagonist goes around and talks with people. So much effort is put into world building that I wouldn’t be surprised if half the book what just exposition text about the world. But it all means nothing as the story just focuses on the daily lives of this guy and these child soldiers. I was shocked upon finishing the first novel to find that pretty much nothing happened. No villains, no real drama, nothing. I understand that not every story needs drastic end of the world stakes to be enjoyable but I would at least like something of worth. Man goes to orphanage to look after kids, end of first novel. The pacing of this story has me thinking that it will take several episodes before people end knowing what this show is actually about. Again I started skimming so perhaps I bypassed the point where it gets interesting, perhaps an anime adaption can tied it all together with good atmosphere and storytelling. Though this Staff is completely inexperienced. The director only worked on that Nagoto spinoff of Haruhi and the series composer seems to be the light novel author himself and he has no previous experience with series compostion. I say this will end up dropping off people’s radar fast.
Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu
Studio: Oriental Light and Magic
Director: Takao Kato
Script/Series composer: Kenichi Araki
The story is set in “the future, just a little after the present day…. To respond to disasters beyond human comprehension and the increasing complexity of crime and mishaps, the mobile emergency police Hyper Rescue (an organization newly formed by the government primarily for life-saving) developed ‘Drive Heads’ that are specialized with police, fire-fighting, and rescue capabilities.
‘Drive Heads’ are special vehicles that change from car forms to humanoid walker vehicles. The grade schooler Gou Kurumada and other children found to be suitable become drivers and join forces with the mobile emergency police and other adults. Even now, they race to the scene to protect the peace and security of all humanity. Go Rescue!
Mario: Okay, this is a kid show (which I actually don’t mind), but they have a plot of mecha robot fighting for the sake of humanity on top of that, so consider any interest of mine for this show had vanished. Imagine this show is your typical Power Ranger style anime, those kids will fight off evils, drive super-cool cars that can transform into humanoid vehicles and (if we are lucky) go to school and enjoy everyday life like any ordinary kids. This company’s main outputs consist of dominantly children shows so this is expected from them, and while most of other times they work as an outsource company for other big studio’s projects, they did have some family-friendly successes under their belts (12-sai – which I actually have a fond memories of it; the movie Rudolph the Black Cat which surprisingly earned a Best Animation nomination at the annual Japan Academy Prize – along with the other giants Your Name, A Silent Voice and In this Corner of the World (which won) so I say we have a bit of hope here; but even then at best they could pull some entertaining episodes before getting drowned into the big sea of anime offerings.
Love Kome: WE LOVE RICE
Studio: Encourage Films
Director: Takashi Horiuchi
Script/Series composer: Yuuki Takabayashi
The project anthropomorphizes rice (kome in Japanese) into schoolboys. At the Kokuritsu Inaho Academy (“Rice Ear Academy,” a wordplay on national schools), five new rice-inspired students attempt to supplant bread as the popular grain at the school. The new students form the “Love Rice” unit and challenge themselves to perform at the “Harvest Show” to show the delicious appeal of rice grains. The “heartwarming ‘kome’dy with laughs and passion” promises to let audiences rediscover the virtues of rice (“Japan’s soul food”).
Anthropomorphize…rice. Rice. Anthropomorphize little white seeds into schoolboys. Just….how? To anthropomorphize generally means to ascribe human features to something but in this case you have ascribed so much that they have no connection whatsoever to their previous form. In this case they are just boys named after rice. What makes matters worse is that Harvest Show mentioned in the synopsis which suggests they might be trying to be idols too. If so consider any grain of remote interest I had in this series dead. Staff is all complete inexperienced and nothing the studio made is worth much of a damn.
Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine
Director: Katsuya Kikuchi
Script/Series composer: Kimiko Ueno
Accepting the post of Royal Tutor at the court of the king of Grannzreich, Heine Wittgenstein is a little professor with a big job ahead! Each of the kingdom’s four princes has a rather distinct personality. Does their diminutive new instructor have what it takes to lay down some learning? It’s a comedy of educational proportions!
The little boy and the creepy ass shotacon princes might be a better title. Well the lead makes a point to say he’s a full grown adult that just so happens to look like a little boy to justify the whole underage thing. Admittedly not my cup of tea as I am clearly not the demographic they are aiming for. However I do find it irritating to see the same otome stereotypes yet again with little difference. Harem anime is guilty of this too but I feel like there’s even less of an effort here. I have seen all these guys before, the smart glasses guy, the misunderstood loner, the egotistical jackass, the aloof childish one…these are the same characters with different names. But hows the comedy you say, well anime comedy generally misses with me but I get this feeling the jokes in this were not funny in the first place. Much like those boy idol shows you see every season I doubt this will be remembered when the season is over.
Quan Zhi Gao Shou
Studio: G.CMay Animation & Film
Script/Series composer: Unknown
Source: Light Novel
In the multiplayer online game Glory, Ye Xiu is regarded as a textbook and a top-tier pro-player. However, due to a myriad of reasons, he is kicked from the team. After leaving the pro scene, he finds work in an Internet Cafe as a manager. When Glory launches its tenth server, he throws himself into the game once more. Possessing ten years of experience, the memories of his past, and an incomplete, self-made weapon, his return along the road to the summit begins!
Another anime from China is seems and this one looks to have more potential than the other Chinese production this season. Though reading the manga adaption of the work has me less than impressed with the source material. This story is basically like watching a lets play of a an MMO from a top level player. There’s no real stakes or much of a goal other than this guy getting stronger in an MMO. The characters don’t have much depth and I found them uninteresting. The plot just feels really self indulgent with it’s main character being a pro player coming back to teach all these newbies how it’s done. The entire world seems to revolve around this RPG and our protagonist just can never do no wrong. It’s very much a Isekai story like Overlord or the other half a dozen examples of the genre. If you are into this kind of story I suppose it could be rather watchable if the animation is good. But otherwise I deem this a forgettable work.
Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Kinki Kyouten
Director: Minato Kazuto
Script/Series composer: Touko Machida
Source: Light Novel
Sistina attends a magical academy to hone her skills in the magical arts, hoping to solve the mystery of the enigmatic Sky Castle. After the retirement of her favorite teacher, the replacement, Glen, turns out to be a tardy, lazy, and seemingly incompetent bastard of an instructor. How is it that Glen was hand-picked by the best magician in the academy?!
It’s a light novel story. Alright it’s slightly different in that the main character is a teacher but it follows a fairly similar formula. He’s immensely overpowered, has girls flocking to him, villains are all one dimensional assholes…The setting and names are different but we have been through all this before. This is essentially the asterix war or failed knight of this season. Alongside Clockwork Planet.
Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai
Director: Kinji Yoshimoto
Script/Series composer: Kinji Yoshimoto
Source: Other (Multimedia Project)
You, will you be a worshipper of the devil lords? These beautiful lords lead humans to the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. A revealing fantasy that craves to corruption and happiness starts now.
The seven deadly sins motif truly has been overused at this point. It was cool when fullmetal alchemist did it but recently I find it popping up far too often. From the Shounen show the Seven deadly sins, servamp, Trinity Seven, Re:Zero and many others I can’t quite recall. I am even playing a visual novel and it too has a weapon with a seven deadly sins motif though at least it’s relevant seeing at the story revolves around christian mythology, it’s appropriate. But here we are again with Sloth, Wrath, pride, Lust, Gluttony, Greed and Envy. As it is an original anime I only have the staff and promo to go on and it really doesn’t look good from that. For one the director is also acting as writer and his previous work gives a pretty good idea of what we are getting. This appears to be his first time with series composition but his director work includes Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai, Queen’s Blade, a hentai called Front Innocent and a couple of other shows that seem pretty fanservice focused. Seeing as this is a show representing the seven deadly sins as girls in skintight fabric something tells me this isn’t going to be an introspective dive into the nature of sin. This seems to be a show for those who like a healthy dose of fanservice in their anime. Otherwise I say give it a pass.
Director: Ryouichi Kuraya
Script/Series composer: Ryouichi Kuraya
Kazuya Kagami’s most treasured possession in the world is the obi left to him by his late mother. The scent of cherry-blossoms infused into it helps him through his day – but he never expected it to save his life, becoming a beautiful kimono-clad girl who calls herself an “artifact spirit.” Her name is Kiriha, tsukumogami of the sash, who naturally moves in with him, as he is her “owner.” Throw in Chisato, his bespectacled friend, an overprotective older sister who wants to take baths with him, a busty priestess, a seductive sorceress named Kokuyoura, and Kazuya’s life has just gotten a lot more…interesting.
Here is something I never quite expected would get an anime adaption. Why is that you ask? Is it some obscure gem ignored by the anime industry by now? Oh god no. Tsugumomo is more or less a pretty standard shounen battle manga though it does deal with the interesting topic of tsukumogami that reside in objects. There is one big difference though between something like this and something like My Hero Academia and that is the fanservice in this thing is off the charts. I am talking borderline porn here. It starts out somewhat tame but it just escalates as the series continues. Made all the more uncomfortable by the fact that the main heroine is a loli and she gets the bulk of the fanservice. It’s possible that the studio plans to tone down the fanservice in the series and turn it into a typical shounen though I am not sure if the end result would be all that interesting. Perhaps if it is well animated enough that could make it visually impressive as the fight scenes do get creative and dynamic. However considering the trailer’s level of animation as well as the animation studio I doubt it could reach that level of quality.
Twin Angel BREAK
Studio: JC Staff
Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki
Script/Series composer: Michiko Itou
In the story, two third-year middle school girls fight evil as Twin Angels under orders from a hedgehog named Miruku-chan. The girls disagree, but as they work together, little by little they become friendlier with each other.
That synopsis seems to give the general idea pretty well. Looks like we have here a traditional magical girl anime. Director pretty much has nothing great to his name and a lot of what he worked on is bad. Series composer doesn’t look much better with Day Break Illusion, Wizard barristers and Ookamisan and the seven companions. Honestly this looks like it will be something to skip.
Series I am middling on
BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
Studio: Studio Pierrot
Director: Noriyuki Abe & Hiroyuki Yamashita
Script/Series composer: Makoto Uezu
Naruto was a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He achieved his dream to become the greatest ninja in the village and his face sits atop the Hokage monument. But this is not his story… A new generation of ninja are ready to take the stage, led by Naruto’s own son, Boruto!
You know I thought when you ended as series, that was supposed to be the last of it. But with something as popular as Naruto it’s really no surprise that they want to milk it further. Shonen Jump has lost two of the shounen big three and it seems that no one has taken their places as of yet. Many have tried of course but none can quite live up to what was the peak of these series. Still I don’t think the solution is just to continue past the ending. Naruto has long run out of steam, I even dare say the show should have ended before Shippuden started. It had merit in the beginning but a time comes when a show must end. But seeing as that isn’t happening, what is this show like? Well from the little I read of the manga it’s so far alright. Naruto fans should get a kick out of seeing old favorites now all grown up but I do think the series depends a little too heavily on the past series. The new characters can’t help but feel a little too much like bootleg versions of the originals though they seem to be trying to differentiate them. For example Boruto doesn’t want to become Hokage, in fact he hates the idea because Naruto is so busy being one to spend time with his family. If it follows the manga I think Naruto fans might get a kick out of this but with Studio Perriot at the helm I fear the animation is going to be lacking and they may try to shove in filler in an attempt to turn its current 10 chapters into some long running series. Much like they tried with Twin Star Exorcists. So if you are a Naruto fan this could be an enjoyable show, otherwise I say skip it.
Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism
Studio: Silver Link
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Script/Series composer: Kento Shimoyama
The “battle action” story follows Fudou Nomura, who transfers to a school where girls carry weapons to rule mercilessly over the boys. Shortly after transferring he becomes a target of Rin Onigawara, a member of the the Five Ruling Swords that commands the school. In order break free he must defeat the Five Ruling Swords.
When reading this series I get serious flashbacks to Kill La Kill. It has the same over the top action in a school setting which is beyond ridiculous. The student council is naturally the elite fighters that our protagonist has to face down. There is a harem element as well as fanservice but it’s mainly over the top ridiculous action. Director worked on Dragon Crisis, Higurashi Kira and Blazblue previously so that doesn’t bode well. Only thing of note I can find in his previous work is the OVA adaption of Alice in Borderland(That manga series deserves a full anime adaption. It’s so very good.) Series composer is currently working on Masamune-kun no Revenge this season and out of their previous work the best I can pick out is Binbougami ga and Servant x Service. The thing that would really determine if this show is a success or not is the animation and presentation. The story requires a certain tone in order to work and if these guys mess it out it could end up being a fairly awkward watch. Considering this director things don’t look good on that front.
Alice to Zouroku
Director: Katsushi Sakurabi
Script/Series composer: Fumihiko Takayama
The story centers on a little girl called Sana, who is one of the children that holds the power of “Alice’s Dream,” an ability that enables her to materialize anything she imagines. After escaping a lab where she was a test subject, Sana ends up in a normal world where she encounters an old man named Zouroku, but will he help her?
Can’t get my hands on any english translated manga so I will have to go off the staff for this one. What little I found of the manga gave the impression this would be more of a slapstick comedy despite how the synopsis sounds. Directors directed a number of single episodes but his main director roles are not very impressive. The best of his work is flying Witch but I have a little bit of grudge as this was the guy who directed the Tsukihime anime which everyone wishes didn’t exist. Series composter only has three other shows where she was the main composer, those being Aoi Hana, Yomigaeru Sora Rescue WIngs and Gunparade March. None of these were particularly great seeing as you have likely never heard of them. This one depends on the strength of it’s source material though it looks to me like the kind of show that doesn’t make full use of it’s premise.
Director: Gorou Taniguchi
Script/Series composer: Yousuke Kuroda
I-Machines are the general term for robots that operate in extreme environments. While Alliance Academy student Maya Mikuri is in the middle of operating an I-Machine, she gets involved in an incident with pirates, and ends up serving as a crew member on an excavation company’s spaceship.
This is Sanzigen who previously worked on Bubuki Buranki so despite how it looks, this is a CGI animated anime. Despite it’s flaws, I enjoyed both seasons of Bubuki Buranki so I am rather curious as to what this studio is doing next. The trailer doesn’t give me much hope as it was mainly cute girls and a underwear shot. Staff looks a little more promising as the director worked on Maria the Virgin Witch, Code Geass, Planetes, and Infinite Ryvius. Though his last work Active Raid was a bit of a dud. Series composer is a bigger mixed bag with some great(Hellsing Ultimate, Phantom, Trigun) and some terrible(Maken-Ki, Jungle de Ikou). His recent efforts have been quite bad(Valkyrie Drive Mermaid, Matoi the Sacred Slayer) I don’t know what we might get out of this guy but one thing I can say is that these two are anime industry veterans who have been doing this for quite a while. Provided Kuroda can write a decent script, this thing is in good hands. Though one thing I can say for certain is that the end result is bound to have fanservice.
Studio: EMT Squared
Director: Atsushi Nigorikawa
Script/Series composer: Natsuko Takahashi
A Kiss Note is a powerful notebook that makes anyone who has their name written together will instantly fall in love if they kiss each other regardless of any circumstances. This magical and very familiar item belongs to an angel named Guri whose job as cupid is to create couples. However, she accidentally writes down Aino Seiji, a regular high school student, and unless he kisses someone, Guri will die. She convinces Seiji to go kiss his crush, Hiyama Akane, the school’s popular girl who turns out has even stronger feelings for him, bordering on obsessive and psychotic. Eventually Akane and Seiji come together but not before Guri decides that she likes Seiji as well. What seems awesome to most guys becomes hell for Seiji who just wants a normal relationship with girls.
This one reminds me a lot of To-Love Ru when it started out. When it was more space hijinks instead of all out fanservice. Though this has significantly less fanservice. A more apt comparison would be a Rumiko Takahashi work like a Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura. Theres plenty of hijinks but romantic development is at a standstill throughout. Comedy is more the main focus so if you liked Jitsu wa Watashi wa then this might be to your taste. This looks to be the studio’s first TV anime as all their other previous works were 10 minute series including Amero Cocoa and Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu. Director doesn’t have much to his name as this seems to be the second show he’s directed besides two seasons of Anitore. Series composer worked on Ore Monogatari and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari though she also worked on Divine gate and Norn9 which were pretty bad. I am lukewarm on the series overall but I think some might get a kick out of it if you don’t mind watching a regular harem every now and then. One unrelated thing I would like to mention is that it’s always weird when reading a manga you assume a character’s hair colour in your mind only to find it completely different in the anime. Here I always seen the yandere girl and lead as blond only to find they are a redhead and bluehead.(Is there a term for someone with blue hair?) Same thing happened with the maid girl in Masamune, always seen her as a redhead only for her to be blond in the anime. Always throws me off.
Studio: David Production
Director: Shinya Kawatsura
Script/Series composer: Katsuhiko Takayama
Source: Light Novel
Nearly half the population of Sakurada, a small town near the Pacific Ocean, has some sort of unique power. These powers range from being able to enter the mind of a cat, to resetting the world back to a certain point in time in the past. There is a group known as the “Kanrikyoku” that controls and monitors the use of these powers. Asai Kei and Haruki Misora work for their school’s club called “Houshi” club, which execute any missions received from the Kanrikyoku. Misora has the ability to reset the world 3 days. This means that all events and any memory of the past 3 days that “could have” happened, never happened. Kei has the ability to “remember” the past. Even after Misora uses her powers to reset the world back 3 days, Kei will retain those 3 days in his memory. Combining their powers, these two solve missions issued by the Kanrikyoku.
I wasn’t able to find a translation of the light novel so my impression of this is going to have to be on the staff. The concept seems interesting but I really hate that they just had to shove a school setting in there. Characters could have been adults working for Kanrikyoku but nope, instead they are a school club that receives orders from them. Got to crowbar that school setting in somewhere huh? Best thing the director worked on was Kokoro Connect. Series composer is more worrisome as while he has ef and Ga-Rei-Zero, the majority of his work is pretty terrible. Ange Vierge, Big Order, Aldnoah Zero and (I kid you not) Boku no pico. This one will have to depend on the strength of the source material and my biggest worry would be it wasting it’s premise for a more slice of life style story.
Studio: PA Works
Director: Souichi Matsui
Script/Series composer: Masahiro Yokotani
The story centers on five girls who work in the tourism bureau of their small provincial town. The town revives its “micro-nation” tourism program, which originated from a nationwide movement during Japan’s bubble economy period, and hires the five girls as “monarchs” (tourism ambassadors). The anime will depict one year in their jobs in the tourism industry, and show how they change and grow.
Cute girls being tourist agents. PA Works has always used their anime as a kind of tourism ad in the first place by basing them in real locations so I guess it’s logical that they make a tourism anime. I am at least glad that it seems unrelated to the trash Sakura games that reside on Steam. Director hasn’t worked on much besides Shin Chan and Scrapped princess. Series composer worked on Shimoneta, Re:Zero and Hataraku Maou-sama. Overall this seems like a typical PA Works show for better or worse. It’s not written by Okada but the trailer seems to have the same sort of slice of life easy going comedy happening. My guess is this will be fairly watchable but not really all that memorable.
Tsuki ga Kirei
Director: Seiji Kishi
Script/Series composer: Yuuko Kakihara
The series focuses on characters Akane Mizuno and Kotarou Azumi, two third-year middle school students who become classmates for the first time. The series will depict each characters’ growth and connection to the people around them, such as classmates, club-mates, teachers, and parents. The anime will also center on the youthful adolescent romance of the characters, who are hounded by change and uncertainty as the seasons inevitably pass. The other characters depicted in the above image are named Chinatsu Nishio and Takumi Hira.
The synopsis sounds like a school slice of life though the idea of time progression is a fascinating one. Most school slice of life stay in the same place with little change but being able to see a person change as they go through school life might breathe some fresh air into this concept. The director I dislike for his video game adaptions but he did work on Humanity has declined and Angel Beats(I didn’t like Angel beats but I know a lot of people did) Series composer’s previous work includes Orange, Chihayafuru season 2 and Sakamichi no Apollon so she’s certainly qualified with the subject matter of this story. Though she does have some stinkers in her resume, though source material may be the main culprit in these cases. Studio’s previous work seems to be a mostly bad with Snafu’s second season being the best anime standout. Overall I am mildly intrigued though how good this series turns out depends on how well the characters develop as time passes.
Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho
Studio: White Fox
Director: Tetsuo Hirakawa
Script/Series composer: Unknown
Source: Light Novel
The “grimoire fantasy” series follows a witch named Zero who is ignorant of the world and a half-beast half-human mercenary who longs to be human. Witches who practice sorcery exist in the world, however, in this era no one knows how about the art and study of witchcraft. Zero is going on a journey to search for a magical tome called “The Book of Zero” that hides a power that can destroy the world. The mercenary travels with her as her guard.
The good news about this one is that it doesn’t follow conventional Light novel formula. The bad news is I really don’t know what to think of it. It bases a lot of it’s story on the witch hunts of the medieval ages and the protagonist is interesting in how he’s been cursed to look like a bear. The comedy really falls flat but it at least puts some effort into it’s world building. Story pacing is fairly slow and I just find it hard to get invested in. This is the director’s first TV series though he has done bit work for a number of other shows. My guess is that they are taking on the original creator to act as script writer or supervisor as no series composer has been listed. Really is is a story I think I will be able to make my mind up on when I see it in motion. I don’t expect to suddenly love it but it may be something to catch some people’s interest.
Shingeki no Kyojin 2
Studio: Wit Studio
Director: Tetsurou Araki & Masashi Koizuka
Script/Series composer: Yasuko Kobayashi
The second season of Shingeki no Kyojin. Eren Jaeger swore to wipe out every last Titan, but in a battle for his life he wound up becoming the thing he hates most. With his new powers, he fights for humanity’s freedom facing the monsters that threaten his home. After a bittersweet victory against the Female Titan, Eren finds no time to rest? A horde of Titans is approaching Wall Rose and the battle for humanity continues!
Certainly one of the most anticipated anime’s of this season due to Attack on Titan’s mainstream popularity but forgive me if I not too excited for this one. We have the same staff that worked on the first season but I have a feeling this season will cause a number of fans to lose interest. It’s possible with the right execution this series could prove to be as good as the first but based purely on the source material I found that Attack on Titan really starts to lose steam at this point. The authors weaknesses in characterisation are made more apparent and plot progression is slow. If you had questions by the end of the first season I would not expect them to be addressed for quite a while. Even then the answers are not as interesting as you might think. If this is a single cour then we will have another second season whose primary interest will be building up to a unconfirmed third season which generally are fairly unsatisfying. I would like to be proven wrong and I certainly could but I think this season might kill the popularity of the series.
Series I do look forward to
ATOM: THE BEGINNING
Studio: Production I.G
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro & Tatsuo Satou
Script/Series composer: Junichi Fujisaku
Japan in the near future suffers an unexplained major disaster. Five years later, reconstruction is well underway. Two young researchers at a university are pinning all their hopes on robot development. Now their new interpretation of the eternal hero Astro Boy up until his birth is just about to start!
This is a prequel to Astro boy or as he is known in Japan, Mighty Atom. Personally I would have prefered a Pluto adaption if we are doing a Astro Boy prequel but this is pretty entertaining in it’s own right. The story is pretty simple and invokes a more old school, traditional style of storytelling. Considering that it’s a prequel to a manga by Osamu Tezuka, the proclaimed Father of manga, that’s really expected. In that regard a lot of the presentation is on the nose but from what I read of the manga this was a very fun read. In animated form this series could really shine as the action sequences are quite exhilarating. The story mainly follows Tenma, Ochanomizu and what looks to be the prototype that would be later be used to create astro boy. This takes place in their college years before they gained fame for their robotic work. So the story follows these two trying to prove the worth of their robotic programing while the robot becomes more conscious and heroic. It depends on how well the story turns out after the first five chapters but this could turn out to be a very enjoyable anime series.
Uchoten Kazoku 2
Studio: PA Works
Director: Masayuki Yoshihara
Script/Series composer: Ryou Higaki
One day, “The Junior”, estranged son of Professor Akadama, who disappeared after losing a fierce father-son dispute, has returned home after a century, now an English gentleman. The big news spread in and out of the Kyoto area in the blink of an eye and shake up both the Tengu and Tanuki worlds. The paths of Humans, Tanukis and Tengus intertwine in Kyoto as the second volume of the furball picture scroll unravels!
Mario: Time for confession, I love Tomohiko Morimi’s writing. He has great flairs for characters writing (his characters are distinctive and warm) and excellent dialogue (this admittedly not for everyone’s taste but mine); and moreover I’m in love with his mundane Kyoto settings that apparent throughout his body of works. In regards to the overall quality, his Tatami Galaxy work is better but I’m more drawn to Uchoten Kazoku’s magical realism settings which to be honest one of my most favorite anime settings ever. But enough fanboying about the series and let’s see what the new season will offer us. While the first season focused on the tanuki community and their election to choose the great tanuki; the second one will focus more on the conflicts between tanuki, tengu and human worlds and I say bring it on. Those clashes between different worlds are always the show’s greatest strengths and if this is any indication it should give more development to Bentel who serve as a unique role that link those worlds together. From the look of the trailer the all of the previous cast will be back again with some new bloods so I expect great things from this coming season.
Director: Ei Aoki
Script/Series composer: Ei Aoki, Rei Hiroe
Humans have created many stories. Joy, sadness, anger, deep emotion. Stories shake our emotions, and fascinate us. However, these are only the thoughts of bystanders. But what if the characters in the story have “intentions”? To them, are we god-like existences for bringing their story into the world? Our world is changed. Mete out punishment upon the realm of the gods. In Re:CREATORS, everyone becomes a Creator.
I understand that a synopsis is supposed to catch someone’s attention but any chance we can stop the bragging about how “different” this story is and actually summarize the idea? Only thing I got from this is the characters in this series are somehow self aware of the fourth wall…I guess? Animation studio hasn’t done much besides that show about the girl who had a fetish for human skeletons(Sakurako-san no ashimoto ni wa shitai ga Umatteiru). Director is pretty good having Fate/Zero, Wandering son, Kara no Kyoukai movie 1 and Ga-Rei-Zero on his resume. But here’s where things get interesting. Listed as the original creator and writer is the mangaka who created Black Lagoon. This looks to be his first time writing for an anime so who knows how it will turn out but I am much more interested in this series after seeing that piece of information. Looking at the trailer it looks like a no holds barred anime genre war with Mages fighting mecha, magical girls fighting knights and if that’s the case that could be something worth watching. I am cautious as this will be different from Black Lagoon but if he can bring the action then this could be something.
Studio: Toei Animation
Director: Kazuya Murata
Script/Series composer: Unknown
Kojirou Shindou. Cabinet Office Director-General for Policy Planning, is at Haneda Airport for a business trip.
While the plane is on the runway, a giant structure suddenly appears out of thin air. The plane carrying Shindou and 251 passengers is taken undamaged inside the giant structure. After everyone disembarks, a man who looks like an ordinary human being shows up. He assures those from the plane that they’re not in any danger. Shindou asks him to identify himself and explain the situation. Then the outside of the structure is displayed on a large screen, and at the same time, every passenger’s cell phone starts ringing all at once. On each cell phone screen is a message from this man, to every one of Japan’s citizens: “I, Yaha-kui zaShunina, hereby notify you that I am going to intervene in Japan’s internal affairs.”
What is this young man’s goal? And will Shindou manage to become an intermediary between Japan and the Anisotorons…?
The biggest negative here is that this is a CGI animated show instead of being 2D animation. Now i don’t think that CGI anime should just disappear as there have been examples of pretty great CGI anime but from what I can tell this is their first CGI animated TV series. They have worked on CGI animated movies before with Space Pirate Captain Harlock and Expelled from Paradise. Based on those the CGI would be passable but I worried there would be an immense downgrade in framerate when making a TV series and for CGI that is a quick way to make animation jarring. Other than that though I love this idea and think it has plenty of potential. For one we have no teenagers in sight and the very idea of diplomatic negotiations with an alien is something that has my full attention. The creator has a decent resume with doing partial work on Code Geass, Eureka Seven and Dennou Coil. He also was one of the series compositors for Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and assisted with the script. He also directed Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet so my overall impression of the guy is that he often was in the background of some fairly great works. Hopefully something rubbed off on him as I really would like this story to turn into something special. From what I have seen of the trailer it does look like quite something.